Fear divides and weakens. It divides the mind and heart of the person who fears. It creates a chasm of trust with those around them, their environment too. Always has, always will. There will be fear in the future and for the lucky ones a Litany of Fear to help combat it.
"I will not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."
But for today, we have Nick Morgan of Public Words and this excellent post What Healthcare Executives Fear. Nick's focus, his well-recognized expertise, is public speaking. So, he's talking about what healthcare executives fear about public speaking.
Stop now and read it. It's ... it's a great read.
Nick walks through three quotidian fears or speech anxieties.
"One common source of speech anxiety in health care is the fear that you will be caught out not knowing an answer, or shown up by someone in the audience who knows more than you. Credentials, research, and evidence are big deals in health care.
"A second common source of stage fright for health care folks is endemic in other executive ranks as well. Many executives from a lot of industries are simply too busy, too stressed, and too distracted to prepare adequately in advance. So they try to “wing” their remarks, making a virtue of necessity, saying that “it will go better because I’ll be in the moment” – and it doesn’t, and they suffer accordingly. Their performances are uneven at best and gaffe-prone at worst.
"Finally, a third standard fear that many health care people have is that they’ll forget where they are at some point during the speech and go blank."
After each one, he describes several simple, obvious, solutions. I so want to share them here but if I do then maybe you won't read his post. I won't. Go read it.
As I enjoyed his post, I realized ... these are the same fears every manager faces when they're meeting with, presenting to, their team or department.
It's no different.
1. You don't won't to be shown up or upstaged or made to look like you don't have the answer.
2. You claim you're too busy to prepare but that condemns you to finding the time to clean up the mess after your gaffe-filled presentation fails.
3. You will forget where you are, what point you're trying to make if you're not organized and practiced for that presentation.
You see that's engagement. You're engaging with your team, department. You're showing them respect by being prepared. You're honoring their time and intelligence by being prepared. You're engaging with your work by preparing the best presentation each time you call a meeting or a have a conversation.
Employee engagement isn't rocket science. Sometimes it's just a matter of doing our homework.